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Turbulent Energization of Electron Power Law Tails during Magnetic Reconnection

Tijdschriftbijdrage - Tijdschriftartikel

Earth's magnetotail is an excellent laboratory to study the interplay of reconnection and turbulence in determining electron energization. The process of formation of a power law tail during turbulent reconnection is a documented fact still in need of a comprehensive explanation. We conduct a massively parallel, particle in cell 3D simulation and use enhanced statistical resolution of the high energy range of the particle velocities to study how reconnection creates the conditions for the tail to be formed. The process is not direct acceleration by the coherent, laminar reconnection-generated electric field. Rather, reconnection causes turbulent outflows where energy exchange is dominated by a highly non-Gaussian distribution of fluctuations. Electron energization is diffuse throughout the entire reconnection outflow, but it is heightened by regions of intensified magnetic field such as dipolarization fronts traveling toward Earth.
Tijdschrift: Physical Review Letters
ISSN: 0031-9007
Issue: 22
Volume: 125
Aantal pagina's: 6
Jaar van publicatie:2020
Trefwoorden:Multidisciplinaire natuurkunde